Trustees

Members of the Trust are experienced educators, school operators and professionals and fully acknowledge the role and responsibility of the Trust Board in ensuring the highest quality standards of its schools and the tireless focus on outstanding outcomes for their students.

The Trust is fully aware of its procurement and Academies Financial Handbook obligations and will implement its already established policies to ensure that value for money is consistently and sustainably achieved. Moreover, all members of the Trust are aware of and committed to following the Seven Principles of Public Life.


DAVID JOHNSON – MEMBER / TRUSTEE (CHAIR)

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Dave is a father of three young children, one at primary and two at secondary. He is a governor at his local maintained junior school.

During a long career in business, Dave has delivered new school facilities under a variety of programmes and advised on the establishment and governance arrangements of a multi-academy trust. Dave is an expert in project delivery and contract management, and in delivering value for money schemes in the public sector.

Dave is passionate about primary education and is an advocate of increasing parental choice in high-quality education provision.


TOM LEGGE – MEMBER / TRUSTEE (VICE-CHAIR)

Tom has lived in Rugby for over ten years and currently has three children in the local state school system. He has been involved with the free schools programme since its inception and in the opening of over 50 free schools. Tom was lead proposer for Rugby Free Primary School, serving as Chair of the Local Governing body and helping take the school through its first Ofsted inspection.

As Vice Chair of the Trust, Tom leads on the ongoing development of Learning Today Leading Tomorrow, working closely with the CEO to ensure that the trust remains sustainable and best serves all the children in its care. As Chair of the RFSS Sustainable Improvement Board, Tom has the same responsibilities as a Chair of a local governing board but directly reports on progress against the post-Ofsted action plan to the Board.


KRISSI CARTER – TRUSTEE / MEMBER


Krissi has been Headteacher at Burton Borough School in Shropshire since September 2016, her first appointment to headship. Prior to this, she held various teaching and leadership positions culminating in her appointment to Vice Principal of the ‘Outstanding’ Harris Academy Crystal Palace. It is her belief that it is increasingly important that we nurture students to become confident, lifelong learners who are unafraid to voice their own opinions and debate them in an intellectual, considered and structured manner. Her aspiration is for students to think and ask questions which will propel them into an age of innovation where their creative and critical thinking skills will be more important than ever before. She wants students to be well-rounded, not relying on rote or technology, so that they are fully empowered to compete and engage with their peers, both nationally and internationally.


GARY BROWN – TRUSTEE

Gary has lived in the Rugby area for 20 years. He has two children in full-time education in the town.

A qualified chartered accountant with an MBA, he has held a number of senior financial positions and directorships in retail and leisure companies. Gary is a former senior executive with a global bank and is an expert in service management and operational transformation.

Gary believes every child should have the right to a good education.


JILL SIMPSON-VINCE  – TRUSTEE

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Jill leads on governance and oversight for the Trust. Jill is currently a County Councillor and Borough Councillor with responsibilities including the Planning Committee and a member of Licensing and Safety Committee and Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

A local and independent member of the Trust Board, Jill was involved in the inception of the Trust as one of a group of parents campaigning for its first free school. Her role is to provide rigorous scrutiny of the Trust Board and local governing bodies.


KEITH WARBURTON – TRUSTEE

Keith is the Trustee leading on SEND and Safeguarding.

In over a decade as an educational consultant Keith has worked as: a coach to Fast Track teachers, an external adviser to governors for Headteachers’ performance management; a chief external examiner for a university provider of initial teacher training; a tutor for the Open University on their Masters Education programme; and assessor for teachers applying for Advanced Skills teacher status.

He has advised and supported a number of free schools during their application and pre-opening phases and has also provided strategic advice to nationwide local authorities and children’s services. Keith also wrote significant elements of the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s (NCTL) leadership curriculum, including designing training materials for Chairs of Governors.


STEVE HOWES – TRUSTEE

Steve is an engineer and businessman operating in the technology sector, with a passionate belief that a high quality of education is the foundation on which a fulfilling life is built. I see diversity of provision and inclusivity in approach being the twin strands which together will ensure that, whatever talents a student has are recognised and nurtured, to allow that individual to succeed in whatever way best suits them.

Outside my professional life, I spent many years as a School Governor in primary and secondary school through the nineties and noughties, culminating in several years as Chair of Governors of a large secondary school in Hertfordshire. Professional demands kept me away from active involvement in education for several years, although of course I retained an active interest in the education that my own children (I have six spanning 28 years) were receiving. Having returned from working overseas in 2018, I am delighted to have joined the Board of Trustees. I am keen to play an active role in shaping the development of the Trust, in line with the principles set out above.


DAVID NOBLE – MEMBER 

David leads on research and data analysis for the Trust and brings extensive Early Years and community liaison expertise. With a degree in applied economics, David has worked in the field of education and Early Years research for over a decade.

David has experience in working with over 20 free schools where he has helped organise community engagement and demand gathering and managed consultation during the pre-opening phase.


BERNARD ABRAMS – MEMBER

Bernard is a Member with the remit of education and school improvement.

Bernard is a highly qualified and experienced education specialist with a track record of facilitating stakeholder and change management who will relish any opportunity to support education initiatives where specialists and non-specialists need to work together to plan and initiate change. He has reviewed a significant number of free school applications for Trustees and is fully familiar with the process for establishing free schools.

Bernard has been an accredited Specialist Schools Consultant for 16 years and has 12 years’ experience as an Ofsted inspector.


BRENDA MULLEN – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Brenda has over 30 years experience in statutory education at primary, secondary and sixth form stages. In previous roles, she set up a regional service to support young people aged 16-25 years, to access vocational programmes and prepare for university, she was Principal of an outstanding sixth form college and worked as Director of Education for a charity that delivered education and alternative provision nationally. Most recently, Brenda was the founding CEO of a regional multi-academy trust that set up 3 academies and free schools in the Midlands. She has 10 years experience as a trustee/director for an outstanding single academy trust (secondary) in Derbyshire. She brings particular expertise in governance and leadership structures, capacity building, partnership working and special educational needs.